Transcript #645


MuggleCast 645 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #645, Dumbledore the Matchmaker (GOF Chapter 15, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

Andrew Sims: Welcome to MuggleCast, your weekly ride into the wizarding world fandom. I’m Andrew.

Eric Scull: I’m Eric.

Micah Tannenbaum: And I’m Micah.

Andrew: Unfortunately, Laura is sick this week, but luckily we have one of our Slug Club patrons on – in the Laura chair, let’s call it – Katie. Hi, Katie. Welcome to MuggleCast!

Katie: Hi, guys. Happy to be here.

Andrew: We’re excited to have you. Thank you so much for your longtime support. You’ve contributed some great thoughts to today’s discussion, too, so we’re so excited to have you part of our discussion. I hope all of our listeners pull out their single-malt whiskey, because students from two foreign wizarding schools are pulling into Hogwarts in this week’s installment of Chapter by Chapter.

Micah: Choo-choo.

Andrew: Katie, before we go any further, can we get your fandom ID?

Katie: Yes. So my favorite book is Order of the Phoenix because it’s thick and that’s what I wanted at the time, lots of pages.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: “More! Give me more!”

Katie: Favorite movie: Goblet of Fire, because to Eric’s longtime point, it’s full of color. It’s the last film that’s just bursting with color. They did a lot of stuff wrong, but what they did right, they did great. And they gave us some banger songs from the Yule Ball, which I definitely listen to.

Andrew: [sings] “Can you dance like a hippogriff?”

Andrew, Eric, and Katie: “Ma-ma-ma, ma-ma-ma, ma-ma-ma.”

Katie: Yeah, yeah. Hogwarts House: Slytherin.

Andrew: Ooh.

Katie: I thought I was a Gryffindor my whole life; Pottermore told me otherwise.

Eric: Wow. How are you, Katie? How are you? Have to check in on that.

[Andrew laughs]

Katie: I’m still not… I grew up a jock, so I must be in Gryffindor, but then if I stack the tests to get in Gryffindor, then that’s a very Slytherin thing to do. So it’s an ongoing…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yes. Yes, it is.

Katie: Yeah, so just accepting it. Slytherin. Ilvermorny House: Pukwudgie. And my Patronus is a heron…

Eric: Ooh.

Katie: … which I used to be very excited about because that was the author’s Patronus, and now…

Andrew: You’re less excited. [laughs]

Eric: Now you’re like, “Can we just not? Let that be the only thing we share.”

Katie: Yeah, now it’s just… I shouldn’t have even said that.

Micah: Now it’s just yours. It’s just yours.

Katie: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: Thank you for sharing your fandom ID, Katie, and thank you for your support on Patreon. And thanks to everybody who supports us; we really appreciate your financial support through Patreon or Apple Podcasts. So before we go any further, last week, inspired by Harry and Ron’s approach to their Divination homework, we took turns making predictions about one another’s futures, so I thought we should revisit these and see if any of them came true. First of all – and this actually might explain why Laura isn’t here this week – I predicted that Laura will encounter a great fortune, the likes of which she has never seen…

[Eric and Katie laugh]

Andrew: … but it’ll be just out of her grasp, due to an unspeakable law of resistance. So maybe she’s still trying to get that money. Or maybe she got the money.

Micah: She just doesn’t want to tell us the truth, right?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I think she had to… yeah, she had to not be on the show in order to claim it.

Micah: She’s going to break it to us softly.

Andrew: Micah, you predicted that I would get offended when someone doesn’t want to chit-chat, [laughs] but it’s not an affront to me; they are processing something I wouldn’t want to talk about anyway.

Katie: This is so personal. [laughs]

Andrew: Should I be speaking to my therapist about this one or what? Because I’m not sure if this came true.

Micah: Yeah, you might just want to check in with them to see. You might be bearing it on a subconscious level.

Andrew: Whoa. Okay. Micah, Eric predicted that you would learn about a new restaurant in Indianapolis that’s too good to pass up. Did that happen?

Micah: I believe it did.

Andrew: Oh!

Micah: So Eric must have some Trelawney blood in him, so… see, this one is tough, because I know Eric knew – or maybe he didn’t know – that I was going to Indianapolis next week.

Andrew: He did.

Eric: I did or didn’t I know? I don’t know.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: [imitating Trelawney] “The staaars have told me…”

Micah: But I have learned actually about several restaurants in Indianapolis that seem too good to pass up.

Andrew: Wow.

Micah: So Eric leading the charge here.

Eric: All right.

Andrew: Bon appétit. And then lastly, Laura predicted that Eric would get a lead on something new, exciting, and unexpected in the coming weeks that would transform his day to day.

Eric: I’m going to take it that Laura’s absence is here, so it didn’t come true, so something must be a complication of that.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: So I’m still waiting on that one.

Andrew: She did say in the coming weeks, so…

Micah: Yeah, Eric has some time here.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, you’ve got some time.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: Safe to say those predictions could have gone a little bit better, but I guess we all have a little Trelawney in us.

Eric: I’m still waiting for our Tycho Dodonus predictions to really hit home.

Micah: Ooh.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: The Fantastic Beasts prophecies that we made.

Andrew: It is Valentine’s Day week, and we have a Valentine’s-themed edition of bonus MuggleCast coming up today, right, Eric?

Eric: That’s right. We are going to be playing [laughs] a wonderful take on the old beloved MuggleCast segment the Dueling Club, but we’re reworking it to make it the Snogging Club!

[Katie laughs]

Andrew: We’re going to be spinning a wheel, and then it’s going to give us two random characters, and then we’re going to have to argue why these two characters should be paired together.

Eric: Yep.

Katie: I can’t wait. Oh my God.

Eric: This takes shipping… and Katie, you are welcome to join us and play.

Katie: I cannot wait. Sign me up. Put me in, Coach. I’m so ready.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Eric: All right. Katie is at bat.

Micah: So this is like spin the bottle.

Eric: That’s exciting. Something to look forward to in the bonus on Patreon, and thanks to everyone who subscribes to us on Patreon and gets cool features like the bonus MuggleCast things.

Andrew: This is also a new benefit of MuggleCast Gold on Apple Podcasts. So yeah, going to be a lot of fun. And hey, Spotify listeners, did you know you can easily submit feedback each week? Just tap into an episode and you’ll see a box that says, “What did you think of this episode?” We might even feature your feedback on that episode’s page in Spotify, like we did for this piece of feedback. This was left by Josie on Episode 643 a few days ago; she said, “I love MuggleCats! And yes, I did that on purpose. (cat emoji) I am a diehard Swiftie and I love this reference.” The reference being that episode’s title, which was “Karma Is Crookshanks Purring in My Lap. “Thank you. Love you, besties, Josie.” Thank you, Josie.

Eric: You know what? I will say I’m glad that it wasn’t a reference to Quizzitch getting rid of fun usernames.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I’m glad that the vitriol has not gone that far. So we’re back, by the way, everybody, to hybrid names on Quizzitch.

Andrew: I guess we need to launch a spinoff podcast called “MuggleCats.” And Eric is a cat owner, a cat father, so you could lead that show for us, Eric.

Eric: I would love to lead that show, Andrew. Please, put me in, Coach.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Katie, do you have any cats?

Katie: I sure do. Oh, yes.

Micah: You already have an apparel line, too, Eric, that you can start with.

Eric: That’s right. I have an apparel line that says “Martha can do no wrong,” or “Martha’s way is the right way”?

Micah: Something like that.

Andrew: Awesome. Well, no matter where you listen, no matter how you support us, thank you, everybody. We really appreciate it.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: And now it’s time for Chapter by Chapter, and this week we’re going to discuss Goblet of Fire Chapter 15, “Beauxbatons and Durmstrang,” and we’ll start, as always, with our Seven-Word Summary. [intensely] Katie, are you ready?

Katie: Oh, boy. Yes.

Andrew: Put me in, Coach. She’s going to play. Okay, here we go.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Katie: Foreigners…

Micah: … arrive…

Andrew: … at…

Eric: … the…

Katie: … clean…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … squeaky…

Andrew: … school. Perfect. I think we just need to add a little comma right here: “clean, squeaky school.”

[Seven-Word Summary music ends]

Eric: Yeah, or “clean-squeaky.”

Andrew: But then is that one less word?

Eric: Oh, wait. Yeah. Separate. Comma! Comma!

Micah: Comma.

Andrew: [chanting] Comma, comma…

[Katie laughs]

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Andrew: Okay, so for this first part of this discussion, I want to talk about the Imperius Curse and Moody’s DADA class. I was chuckling as I was reading this chapter because last week, we were debating whether or not Dumbledore knew that Fakey was teaching the Imperius Curse. I am now confident Dumbledore did not know that these curses were being taught in Moody’s class, because in this class in this chapter, Moody claims Dumbledore wants the Imperius Curse taught on all of them, and there is no way. There is no way! So I am now convinced Dumbledore does not know. And this also makes me think that these Unforgivable Curses are only being taught in Harry’s class, because if he was teaching this to all the students that he had and doing the Imperius Curse on all the students, it would have a much higher chance of getting out, of somebody finding out what he was up to.

Eric: I mean, this really represents the biggest secret kept from Dumbledore that’s right under his nose. I mean, if this is true, Andrew, it means Dumbledore does absolutely not know what’s going on in the school. It’s kind of like an own, a little bit. I mean, are you prepared to say that Dumbledore is that clueless?

Andrew: [exhales] Well, it’s a big school.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And I just can’t compute why Dumbledore would see this going on and be like, [imitating Dumbledore] “Whatever, it’s fine.” It would be cruel. It would be a fireable offense at the Ministry level.

Katie: He probably trusts Moody, who he believes to be Moody so much that he doesn’t even audit the class.

Andrew: Ooh.

Katie: Because he’s like, “It’s Moody. It’s Alastor. There’s just no way that he would do anything like this.” And Fakey makes up stuff like “The big guys don’t want you to know” to make the kids… to give them some agency and confidence that they’re allowed to participate in this very exciting Auror-type training.

Andrew and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: And to the question about whether or not this is only Harry’s class, I’m not so sure of that. Because we’re told that they’re not supposed to learn the Unforgivable Curses until sixth year, so presumably, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be teaching this in fourth year, fifth year, sixth year. And to expand on that – someone raised this in the last episode; I can’t remember if it was Laura or it was you, Eric – but this is very much a playing with your food moment for Barty Crouch, Jr. He is literally able to perform Unforgivable Curses on 14-year-olds with zero repercussions. And it reminds me of McGonagall’s comments from earlier in the book that surely Dumbledore would have mentioned something to Moody about using transfiguration as a punishment, so if Dumbledore doesn’t allow transfiguration as a punishment, he surely doesn’t allow his professors to perform Unforgivable Curses on his students. [laughs]

Andrew: Yes. 100%.

Micah: So I agree with Andrew; he does not know about this. There’s no way.

Eric: Well, going back to… again, I just really have always thought that Dumbledore is omniscient about everything. Every time Harry sneaks out, I’m like, “Dumbledore somewhere has a gizmo that went off in his office and knows about this.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I just always pictured that, and this…

Andrew: He got a little Air Tag alert. “Your Harry has left you. He has left the school boundaries.”

Eric: He’s checking his Snap map. He’s checking Harry Potter Snap map.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Eric: Well, anyway, however… this is well-reasoned, Andrew. Lately, this really stumps me, and the only way I can reconcile that Dumbledore wouldn’t actually know is if Moody is putting – or sorry – Fakey is putting a secret Imperius Curse on the students to where they’re not allowed to tell an adult what’s going on. Maybe the curse has not been lifted after they leave class.

Andrew: I want to also address, Eric, the point about Dumbledore knowing everything that’s going on, being omniscient. I agree with you. I have agreed with you before on that take; I feel like it makes sense that he really does know, or knows let’s say 99%, of what’s going on. But then moments like this happen and I’m like… I feel like this is proof he doesn’t.

Katie: He is attending events coordination meetings about the Goblet of Fire. Inspecting the Goblet…

Andrew: Oh yeah, maybe he’s just busy.

Eric: How many meetings could they have had, given how badly it goes?

[Eric and Katie laugh]

Andrew: He’s cleaning the trophies. He’s helping cleaning the school as well.

Katie: He’s like nesting mothers. “It’s probably fine. Perhaps a little too dangerous, but if that’s the only one we got, gotta do it, I guess.”

Andrew: So then there’s the question of the trio and why they would just go with it. Did it cross their minds that Dumbledore would actually not want them to be Imperiused? And I see Court who’s listening live right now on our Patreon bring this up too: Why didn’t Hermione rat him out? I’m wondering if they didn’t question it because they went into their first DADA class being very excited about Moody. They had heard good things about him; their guard was down when it came to Moody.

Eric: This and the events of the Quidditch Cup with the resurgence of the Death Eaters really does sell that it’s darker times. Darker times call for darker lessons. I think that it’s funny to see, if that is a reason why people’s guard was a little bit more down, they’re used to getting into a little bit more… or they’re amenable to the idea of getting into harder lessons or deeper, darker magic, it’s because of something that Fakey actually did earlier in the year in casting the Dark Mark, so that’s kind of fun.

Micah: But presumably this is a fireable offense, right? If word got out… if any student wrote home to their parents and said, “Oh, yeah, what did I do in school today? I got Imperiused and did cartwheels around the room or almost jumped out the window.” If you’re a wizarding world parent, you have to be very concerned about this. And there’s even a through line to Order of the Phoenix because there’s now a track record for students not going to Dumbledore or their Head of House to basically tell on what their professors are doing, right? Think about with Umbridge. Harry is in detention, and he’s got this scar now that’s showing up on his hand because literally what he’s writing is burning into his skin, and he doesn’t go to anybody about that. Presumably, that would have gotten Umbridge tossed out right away. And I think it’s the same thing here for Moody. If anybody would have said something about this, Moody would have been gone.

Katie: You just reminded me, too, that I think Umbridge – speaking of Order of the Phoenix – I’m pretty sure when she’s dissing every single DADA professor and Harry gets all offended, the last thing she says is she comments on Moody doing this stuff with mirth, and then Harry is like, “Oh, because it was a Death Eater,” and then that’s one of his detentions. So it does come out at some point, the details of this.

Micah: That’s a great point.

Andrew: Also, I mean, this could be cause to fire Dumbledore too. I mean, the buck has to stop with somebody, and it should probably be the person who hired Moody, or Fakey.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Why wasn’t he vetted more? Look, I know it’s bizarre to hear me say this because I tend to be the guy defending Dumbledore, but it’s very upsetting that this Death Eater was working undercover at Hogwarts, Imperiusing the students, lying about Dumbledore… somebody has to take the fall here, and not just Fakey. Let’s talk about the Imperius Curse and what happens. We actually get an inside look at how it feels to be put under the Imperius Curse: Harry experiences “the most wonderful feeling… a floating sensation as every thought and worry in his head was wiped gently away, leaving nothing but a vague, untraceable happiness… he stood there feeling immensely relaxed, only dimly aware of everyone watching him.” I thought this was a very interesting description. I don’t think it’s what I would have expected, especially because this is an illegal curse and very, very dangerous. But on the other hand, reading it, I do understand it because it’s almost wiping out your brain to control you. You don’t have any other feelings because you shouldn’t. You’re being controlled.

Eric: Right, right. All of the suffering that we have all of the… if you have anxiety, if you have intrusive thoughts, all of that is gone because your only thought is what you’re being told to do. It’s sad, actually, that Harry goes to this place of relief and happiness, because he’s been so traumatized that he’s probably never felt calmer [laughs] than when he’s under the Imperius Curse. I think that’s what we’re meant to take away from it, that it’s actually a tragic thing that Harry is relieved to be in this state.

Micah: Sure.

Katie: Yeah, some people might feel… I suppose everybody would feel this relief so that they would do the thing, but I would imagine maybe some people feel discomfort, not relief, but nothingness or unconcern. But yeah, the word “relief” is interesting there when you call it out like that. What could it be, to be 14 and needing relief from something?

Andrew and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: There’s seemingly this false sense of security that exists in being under the Imperius Curse, and thinking about it, these two… well, if you look at Imperio and Crucio, they’re really at the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what they do to you, right? Because Imperio makes you feel – at least, because we’ve only seen it experienced through Harry’s eyes – safe, right? Comfortable. The Cruciatus Curse inflicts severe pain. So it was just interesting to me that these are at different ends of the spectrum in terms of what they do to you, even though they’re Unforgivable.

Eric: Yeah, well, yes and no on that, because Fakey is ultimately doing relatively safe things to them with the Imperius Curse. I think that the issue that comes is once you are experiencing harm or pain, the curse forces you to do that too. So like, he says that the Imperius Curse can be used to make the spider drown itself, right? That wouldn’t be a blissful feeling while it’s doing it.

Micah: But maybe, because the agency is completely removed, so you don’t in that moment…

Eric: The agency is, yeah, but your body would be protesting. Your lungs would be wanting to. It would be a… it’s already a horrible thing to think about.

Micah: But would they? That’s the question. That’s what makes this, I think – probably outside of the Killing Curse – the most dangerous of any of the Unforgivable Curses, because you’re literally going to do anything without any kind of resistance, unless you’re somebody like Harry or somebody who’s practiced in being able to resist this type of curse.

Katie: I mean, you’ll be a Death Eater for years, right, and then claim that you were Imperiused. Lucius Malfoy, I think, was the most…

Eric: There has to be a test… but yeah, you’re right, Katie.

Andrew: Well, and doesn’t Moody say the Ministry was really – well, Fakey says – around this area of the book that the Ministry was having a hard time figuring out who was Imperiused and who wasn’t? So to your point, Eric, about a test, unfortunately… you’re saying a test to detect if somebody was Imperiused or not?

Eric: Yeah, like, everyone who claims that they were Imperiused should have their drawing room floors searched for trapdoors to a cellar full of evil and Dark objects, and then be given the benefit of the doubt only after a thorough search has been completed.

Andrew: Right.

Katie: Or very personal questions, right.

Eric: Right.

Katie: Nicknames. “Mollywobbles” and all that.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: That kind of stuff.

Andrew: I was wondering if there’s a Muggle equivalent to these sensations that Harry is describing, or certain adult vices.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: If you’re sedated on some level, or you’re drugged on some level, I think, where you lose control of your abilities, that could certainly be comparable.

Katie: There’s the big difference between the motor control in the Muggle world. Any kind of sedation usually compromises physical ability, and Moody is having people do somersaults and dancing and all of this stuff, which requires very detailed motor control, which… I fail to find, because of that, anything close to that in our world.

Eric: Yeah, it’s a good point. It’s like somebody’s inhabiting your body; it’s just not you.

Katie: Puppet master.

Eric: I think that the personal detachment that one feels to one’s own body could be maybe achieved or similarly by meditation, but you’re entering a very slow moving – to your point, Katie – state, and your body’s not active during this time. You’re freeing your mind, depersonalizing, finding a higher plane of enlightenment. It has nothing to do with cartwheels and somersaults.

Katie: All the positive things of letting go and finding relief from within.

Eric: Right.

Micah: I think Laura had a pretty good suggestion here, too, which was hypnosis. That might be the closest comparison.

Andrew and Katie: Yes.

Katie: I think there’s plenty of examples in culture and psychology, history of psychology, of people doing things, but I’ve never tried it myself.

Andrew: Me neither. I’m afraid to.

Katie: I’m a bit skeptical.

Andrew: Yeah, that too.

Katie: You’re afraid to?

Andrew: Well, yeah, I don’t want to be controlled.

Katie: If it actually works? [laughs]

Andrew: Well, because in high school, we had these… after the dance, there’d be this event at the school to keep you away from partying and whatnot later into the night after prom or whatever. And they would bring in a hypnotist and they’d have ten students up on stage, and they would do it. And I was present for these; I wasn’t on the stage. But these people… “When I snap my fingers, you will fall asleep. When I snap my fingers, you’ll wake up. When I snap my fingers again, you’ll do a dance.” Stuff like that. And it seemed pretty convincing to me. I didn’t hear…

Katie: Everybody fell in line?

Andrew: Yes!

Katie: It wasn’t just like, the theater kids that all signed up and then did it?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: “Oh, you know what? Coincidentally, all the volunteers were from the theater department.”

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Eric: No, Andrew, I’m with you 100%. Anytime I see that and it’s supposedly real and it’s in front of me, I’m terrified. What if it were me? I don’t like the idea of not being in control of my own body.

Andrew: Amen to that. Well, let’s keep moving along here. Somebody mentioned a few minutes ago that Harry was able to resist the curse to an extent; part of him didn’t understand why he should have to jump on the desk, which is showing his resistance. Fakey is actually very impressed by this, and Harry is the only student that can resist. But I was also thinking, so Fakey is enjoying himself, but is he secretly mad? Because he’s learning here that Harry is a pretty good fighter in a way he didn’t necessarily know.

Katie: Yeah, so I had this thought that… because he not only teaches the kids Imperius Curse, but he makes Harry do it four times until Harry can throw it off completely. And later in this book, I’m pretty sure Voldemort tries to use it on him in the graveyard with the bow thing. I think Lucius tries it again. So he’s equipping Harry with the very skills that Harry will use against the Death Eaters. And whereas surely a guy of this much power, if he’s inside Harry’s mind, could probably do a nonverbal hex to weaken Harry or mess him up, plant some kind of seed there, he could easily sabotage Harry in some way. And it made me think about Polyjuice Potion, and if somebody takes it for long enough, is there a risk for Dissociative Identity Disorder where you actually start to believe the person that you are? Is it possible that Barty Crouch is just getting so into Moody’s character that he’s just excited, feeding off of these kids, and leaning into his role as the zany professor…

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Katie: … just knowing that the stronger Harry is… in the back of his mind he’s justifying it like, the stronger Harry is, the more Voldemort will appreciate the fight or something. He could be making up all kinds of lies to himself.

Andrew: Ooh. Right.

Eric: Maybe. I do think there’s… in the LARP community we call it character bleed.

Katie: Oh, sure, okay.

Eric: I do think that Crouch has some character bleed here.

Katie: There it goes, yeah.

Eric: “Professor Moody! Professor Moody!” He loves being called that.

Andrew: So fascinating.

Katie: And he was in Azkaban; he could be really enjoying his time here.

Andrew: Yeah. I keep coming back to Eric, too, complimenting Barty Crouch, Jr. a few weeks ago, being like, “I’m impressed by you.” And at first I was like, “Wait, what?”, but as we continue to read and as we continue to analyze, I get it. These points being brought up… what a fascinating character!

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Katie: Seriously.

Eric: Really interesting, yeah. And it’s like… he likes Voldemort, or he is at one point… he’s on Voldemort’s side. He’s willing to be part of this plot to get Harry to go to meet Voldemort and die. But he also really wants to train Harry a little bit, to kind of give the Death Eaters a run for their money, and there is something pretty sick about it. It’s the playing with your food before you’re eating it. But actually, Harry is thankful, and I think in the future, Harry really credits Fakey for even just… he’s the one who tells him to become an Auror. That is a life path that Harry does go down, so it definitely… we can’t discredit the impact that this Death Eater disguised teacher has on Harry’s development. It’s really interesting.

Katie: Nor can we forget that he does sleep next to a body in the trunk every night…

[Andrew makes a disgusted, shuddering noise]

Eric: What a creep.

Katie: … so layer upon layer of complexity there, to the point where Harry asks about it, and he’s like, “Yeah, it’s got some cool stuff. Ha ha.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: ZN in the Discord says that Fakey is love bombing Harry. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh my gosh.

Katie: Yes.

Micah: For Valentine’s Day, of course.

Eric: Yay.

Micah: I think he just really enjoys it, though. I think there’s something about him that loves the fact that Harry is resisting this…

Eric: Yes.

Micah: … and it presents a bit of a challenge that he maybe wasn’t expecting. So I also think that there’s a connecting the threads bit here to Lupin, because with Expecto Patronum, how many times does Lupin push Harry till he finally gets it right? Much like Moody does the same thing here, until he’s finally able to resist the Imperius Curse. So there’s definitely connections. I know we talked about Umbridge earlier, but there’s a bit of a connection here with Lupin as well.

Andrew: We are going to discuss whether or not Harry’s Horcrux could be in play in this scene, but first, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back.

[Ad break]

Micah: One thing I wanted to call out – because we are pretty good at identifying moments throughout the series now that we know that Harry is part Horcrux – and this is a moment I feel like…

Eric: Wait, what?

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Micah: Oh, sorry. Did you not finish Book 7? I know you didn’t like it.

Eric: Spoilers! When did this happen?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I wanted to ask, is Harry resisting in this moment the Imperius Curse? Or is the Horcrux resisting?

Eric: I love this question.

Micah: Because one would assume Voldemort is extremely good at resisting the Imperius Curse, and we hear a voice talking back to Harry inside of his head. Now, I don’t want to take anything away from Harry. We know he’s good at Defense Against the Dark Arts; it’s his best subject. But I also feel like… we often throw out the question, is it his best subject because it was one of Tom Riddle’s best subjects? Harry is not really good at anything.

Katie: I don’t think we ever hear Harry have an internal argument with himself ever except for this one moment, so it is probably a coincidence, though. But interesting that it’s also in the centerpiece book of the seven.

Eric: Could be hinting at what’s to come. Yeah, I like the idea that he hears this other voice when he’s in a trance-like state, so he’s able to connect on a totally deep level with another persona, or another personality is here. I do think it… I love this theory. And normally when we ask the question “Is Harry’s Horcrux giving him an advantage here?”, I would usually say no, in the earlier books especially. But in this case, I’m prepared to endorse that, Micah. I’m prepared to say this is the first real time where the Horcrux really shines; it’s because Harry has something that the other students don’t. No other student is as good or fails to be completely controlled the first time, but Harry is, and I think it’s because when Harry’s mind is wiped with the Imperius Curse, there’s still someone else there.

Andrew: Also, just want to throw out a little foreshadow alert, because Harry says, “The way [Moody] talks, you’d think we were all going to be attacked any second.”

[Foreshadowing sound effect plays]

Andrew: I’d say that’s foreshadowing what’s going to be happening at the end of this book. So now let’s move on to the other half of this discussion, the excitement around the Triwizard Tournament. So the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students are arriving on Halloween Eve, and the students are very excited. Though Ron’s mood is a little dampered because we learn that Hufflepuff’s Cedric Diggory will be putting his name in the Goblet, and Ron clearly does not like him. [laughs] He said, “That idiot, Hogwarts champion?” And Hermione thinks Ron doesn’t like him because he beat Gryffindor at Quidditch, and then Ron retorts that Hermione just likes him because he’s handsome.

Eric: The first thing I think of when I hear Ron saying, “Cedric, that idiot?” is you don’t even know him! When would Ron and Cedric have interacted? At least Harry and Cedric have actually played on the same team; they played a game together. Ron is just bandwagoning, and I think he’s doing it because he was probably next to Harry when Amos Diggory at the beginning of the year was like, “Oh, my son beat Harry in Quidditch,” and “Isn’t he awesome,” and stuff. But the thing is, that was Cedric’s dad. Cedric himself is a class act. Cedric is such a class act that that the Goblet of Fire picks him to be Hogwarts champion. So I just think it’s unfair for Ron to…

Micah: Remember, he wanted a rematch. He offered Harry a rematch, right? At the end Prisoner of Azkaban or in the book somewhere.

Eric: That’s exactly it. Yeah, well, he had requested when he found out why Harry fell off his broom.

Andrew: So it just comes down to looks, then, right? Ron knows Cedric is a good-looking guy…

Katie: He’s a Chad and Ron’s not, and Ron’s being mad about it.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I mean, Ron basically admits it comes down to looks. He says to Hermione, “You like him just because he’s handsome.” That’s a classic thing that happens in school. You’re jealous…

Micah: This is a lovers’ quarrel, though.

Andrew: Yes, yes. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Katie: Mhmm. Beginning.

Eric: This is Ron’s character flaw; we know this. And he’s pre-attacking and he’s getting pre-defensive for no reason against any potential threats in his pursuit of Hermione.

Micah: Totally. I also thought it could be fun to talk about Ron from the standpoint of… for all we’ve seen through these first couple books, he’s very much Team Gryffindor. He hasn’t expanded to be anything more than that yet. And that obviously changes very quickly once Harry’s name comes out of the Goblet of Fire and he’s all about Cedric, as opposed to being about Harry, but it’s also just a maturity thing, I think, for Ron, where he’s grown up knowing Gryffindor, but he’s not grown enough yet to see how… kind of being Team Hogwarts. He’s like, “If Cedric’s name does come out of the Goblet of Fire,” which it obviously does, he’s not willing at this time to be accepting of that. He wouldn’t get behind somebody who is representing his entire school, not just Hufflepuff. So I think, as we talked about in the previous chapter with Ron related to SPEW, he’s got a lot of growing up to do.

Katie: This is a tough book for Ron. A lot of growing pains.

Andrew: No, it is a good point, Micah. And it is a bummer that Ron isn’t in a position where he could be Team Hogwarts instead of Team… Myself.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Andrew: So the faculty is very excited about today as well, and the school wants to put its best foot forward; the school is undergoing an extra thorough cleaning. And this reminded me of when big events happen in the Muggle world in cities. I’ll always remember growing up in South Jersey, the Democratic or Republican National Convention was coming to Philadelphia, just over the river from me, and oh boy was Philadelphia cleaning itself up!

[Katie laughs]

Andrew: You know those dividers in the road? Those cement dividers in the middle of the road to separate opposing traffic? They were painting bricks on the cement dividers to make it look classier.

[Katie laughs]

Andrew: Stuff like that. When a head of state comes into the country, a city cleans up. We were hearing about that happening in San Francisco a few months ago. It’s time to go undergo an extra thorough cleaning. [laughs]

Katie: Oh my God.

Eric: That’s a great example. I just think, yeah, it’s funny because growing up, somebody coming over – who’s not normally over and used to your level of cleanliness, let’s just say – was the main impetus to actually do cleaning. It’s like no matter who it is, you really want to put your best foot forward, and so it’s fun to see… I guess I would say cooperation, but it all just seems like it’s just mostly Filch who’s going around and having to clean up Hogwarts. Also, the funnier thing about this to me is it’s a medieval castle. There’s no way you can get super… unless they start painting the bricks.

[Eric and Katie laugh]

Katie: Paint a coat of gloss on everything.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, there’s no way to really get it to look nicer. And what does nicer even mean? More modern, necessarily?

Katie: Yeah. This just occurred to me that it’s almost a bit of foreshadowing for the Yule Ball, too, because in a few chapters, we’ll hear about how all the people are doing this to their own hair and looks the same way in anticipation of showing up. We get a similar thing with how Sprout and Hagrid, how everyone’s taming themselves, and it’s fun. There’s a lot of makeovers in this book.

Eric: It’s kind of a meme behavior, these trends that are coming out of this event, in the original meaning of meme.

Micah: Eric just brought up Filch, but I really do hope they give him some assistance. I don’t think it’s fair that they would make him clean the entire castle with no magical help at all from any of the other professors, or students for that matter.

Eric: This is the book where it’s all about house-elves. House-elves are probably helping…

Micah: They probably are.

Eric: … which doesn’t necessarily make us feel better. But I know that in the Jim Kay illustrated version, there’s a house-elf cleaning, so pick your poison.

Katie: Yeah. And it’s funny how cleaning is reserved for detention. It’s kind of troubling that none of these students are learning the self-care of cleanliness in a way.

Eric: Oh my gosh. That’s a great point, Katie. [laughs]

Katie: It just came to me, like…

Andrew: Well, and honestly, that happens in the Muggle world too. Your parent might punish you by being like, “Go mow the lawn,” or “Go clean your room,” or stuff like that.

Katie: Sure.

Andrew: But you’re so right.

Eric: Yeah, but what about pride?

Katie: Pride, yes!

Eric: What about the school pride and…?

Andrew: “Let’s all chip in together.”

Eric: Yeah, like, “Let’s all volunteer.” “We’re taking volunteers to go mow the Quidditch pitch,” or something that never happens.

Katie: You’re 16/17; make your own bed!

[Andrew laughs]

Katie: How are you getting ready for the real world? I should hope.

Eric: They’re coddled in their beds by the house-elves.

Katie: So coddled.

Eric: It’s funny that nobody at Hogwarts has learned the everyday magic of tidying up.

Andrew: Yes, ah, you’re making a reference to the Marie Kondo book of the same name. I love cleaning. I’ve always been somebody who really enjoys cleaning.

Eric: It’s good, yeah.

Andrew: Kids, if your parents are punishing you with cleaning things when you’ve been bad, enjoy it. Listen to MuggleCast – or MuggleCats – while you’re cleaning up, or maybe…

Katie: Right.

Eric: Dear Forrest, dear Luke, surprise your parents; tell them MuggleCast has recommended that you clean something, and ask your parents where they would like the help.

Andrew: “I’ll do my chores, and you don’t even have to pay me a dollar. I’ll do it for free, because I hear cleaning is a cool thing to do.”

Eric: Well, don’t do that, because your labor has value.

[Everyone laughs]

Katie: I love cooking and folding laundry to MuggleCast, so it all works. That’s my thing.

Andrew, Eric, and Micah: Aww.

Andrew: Basically, what we’re saying is it can feel good to step away from a screen. It could feel therapeutic.

Eric: I’d be folding laundry right now; I just don’t have clean laundry right now.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I need to wash it first.

Micah: Unless you’re playing Luigi’s Mansion; then you could be staring at a screen and feeling good about cleaning things up at the same time.

Eric: It’s so satisfying when the ghosts go [makes wubbly sound]

Andrew: Oh, yeah, that sound is so satisfying. I so agree. All right, so the other schools do arrive, and it’s very different than the movie.

Katie: Oh, boy. Yeah.

Micah: So I think there’s a huge opportunity for the TV show to Max this…

[“Max that” sound effect plays]

Micah: … because we get it at the end of the movie, right? When both Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are leaving, but their entrances are so freaking cool and all we get in the movie is just the doors of the Great Hall busting open, some cartwheels and butterflies, and that’s it. [laughs]

Katie: Blown kisses for the pretty French girls and then extreme physical Cossack dancing for all of the big burly guys.

Eric: At least we do get to see the vehicles fly away at the end of the movie.

Micah: Yeah, but…

Eric: But it definitely, I think, suffered in the adaptation from over condensation here.

Katie: Yeah, these are epic arrivals.

Andrew: So in terms of how the movie does it, of course, Durmstrang is all men. Beauxbatons… [pronounces it “Bow-battens”] Beauxbatons… [pronounces it in French] I always say it differently – all women.

Eric: That’s okay, Andrew, we’re working on it. We have all the book to get it right.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Eric: By Chapter 38, you’re going to be like, “Beauxbatons. Why did I ever say it any different?”

Micah: In fairness to Andrew, Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore also says “Bow-battens.”

Andrew: Oh, maybe that’s where it’s coming from.

Katie: [laughs] Of course he does.

Andrew: Because I’m one of the only five people on Earth who liked Michael Gambon’s portrayal of Dumbledore.

Eric: It’s true.

Andrew: Anyway, this whole movie portrayal of an all-guys school and all-girls school, it doesn’t really make sense, because if these schools are boys only or girls only, where do the other students who aren’t boys or girls, respectively, go to school? And why aren’t they competing in the Triwizard Tournament? It doesn’t make sense. [laughs]

Katie: No.

Eric: Didn’t you know that there are no French men, Andrew?

[Katie laughs]

Andrew: Oh, that’s it. Okay. Micah, you were just over in Paris. Can you confirm that?

Micah: That is a lie.

Andrew: Oh, okay. So the Beauxbatons arrive via a powder blue giant horse-drawn carriage, and Harry notes Madame Maxime’s height, and we get a sense of her accent in the writing as well, which is honestly very fun to read, I think, similar to how Hagrid’s manner of speaking is very fun to read. And reading this area and knowing that they later will be in a relationship, Hagrid and Maxime, it almost feels like Dumbledore is being a wingman for Hagrid, because Dumbledore says that “Hagrid will take excellent care of your horses; don’t worry about it.” And she also says that her horses only drink single-malt whiskey, which I think will be music to Hagrid’s ears.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Eric: Only the finest single-malt whiskey.

Katie: He’s got barrels of it. He’s been waiting for this moment.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: I can get some AI of Dumbledore being Hagrid’s wingman, if you’d like. No?

Eric: No.

Micah: Maybe?

Andrew: I like it.

Katie: I’m not sure what that would look like. I guess he’d be at a bar, an establishment with Hagrid perhaps, or looking at Tinder together.

Eric: The thing for me – I think we’re just not used to seeing it through Harry’s eyes or whatever – but this is perfectly on the dot stately behavior. The delegations are arriving; they’re welcoming each other. Dumbledore has his kiss of her hand, Maxime’s hand, and the “Yes, I assure you, your horses will be well taken care of. Our gamekeeper will take care of… our Care of Magical Creatures teacher…” so he is doing Hagrid a solid, but at the same time, I think that it’s just very… it just is Hagrid’s lucky day, really…

Katie: Right.

Eric: … that he’s the one who’s going to be able to handle these massive horses. Also, I don’t think we ever get a real explanation as to why they are the way that they are.

Katie: Like, why they drink whiskey? What’s part of their gastro-intestinal…? [laughs]

Eric: I mean, they drink whiskey because they’re badass, and that’s what I keep telling myself.

Katie: Do they eat? [laughs] They only drink whiskey.

Eric: Well, whiskey is a meal, actually. I think it’s three of the seven on the food pyramid, yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Katie: Okay. Got it.

Eric: It’s sugar because of alcohol… anyway, I’m not going to… yeah.

Katie: [laughs] Right, yeah. I do headcanon that Dumbledore is a matchmaker and that that’s how he puts his powers of manipulation and love for drama to good use, is just by setting people up with little concern. Although, to your point, Eric, this is just a diplomatic gesture.

Andrew: Amazing. No, I love it.

Katie: A little bit of both, perhaps.

Andrew: I think I’ve said on the show before that Dumbledore being so old and having been at Hogwarts for so long, he needs ways to keep himself entertained, and here’s a great way: playing matchmaker for some homies.

Micah: Because clearly, he’s not paying attention to what’s going on his classes, so he might as well just be a wingman.

[Katie laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. And I mean, sorry to bring the mood down, but what if he’s…? If he has to also conceal his sexuality, or he feels like he has to stay in the closet, then he’s also playing matchmaker to kind of distract himself.

Katie: I’ve written some fanfiction with this premise, but I won’t talk about it here.

Andrew: Ooh!

Katie: We don’t have to include this in the show, but I’ll tell you about it later. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh, this sounds interesting.

Katie: Maybe for the bonus.

Andrew: No, tell us.

Katie: The premise is Arthur and Molly’s time at Hogwarts, and Madame Pomfrey is like a Meredith Grey type of young healer coming to the school, and Dumbledore… this was before Potter-no-more released the background on Minerva McGonagall, but Dumbledore and McGonagall are on the same team, and he positions them together. He sends Minerva to Pomfrey’s room before the feast, where she’s very nervous, with a little bit of Scotch, too, to just calm her nerves, and things happen.

Andrew: Wow. Oh, interesting.

Katie: And Dumbledore is pulling the strings the whole time.

Andrew: Wow!

Micah: Before we move on to Durmstrang, I did just want to ask about Madame Maxime. I know we touched a little bit on her appearance and how she’s introduced in this book, but this is certainly something we could talk more about in terms of how the French are represented in Goblet of Fire and beyond, as we spend more time with Fleur. But it’s definitely coming from a certain… perspective, is probably the best way to frame it for right now. And I’m sure Chloé could provide some more insight here – and I’m pretty sure they talked about it on the all girls episode as well – but they don’t do Madame Maxime many favors here, and I’m wondering if it’s coming from a certain perspective that the author has or maybe others have of…

Eric: Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s like, “She’s a handsome woman.”

Katie: I actually think she’s one of the few women that the author describes that’s not either her typical archetypes of the smart Hermione or a pretty, annoying person. She’s a very strong, handsome, empowered… I think it’s the French. All of the English perspective on French people is like, “They’re all snobby.” Why, I don’t know. That comes across a little. She is written to have a little bit of her nose in the air. Is that what you’re talking about, Micah? That, sort of?

Micah: Yeah, and I guess just kind of the shock value that Ron and others have upon seeing her for the first time as she gets out of the carriage.

Andrew: Because of her height.

Katie: The giant thing.

Eric: It’s just too… well, yeah. And I don’t know necessarily, to your point, Micah, that the explanation is ever really given for why Madame Maxime looks the way she does, or why the students are arriving on giant horses. I’m sure there’s a very culturally interesting reason for all of it that just isn’t included in this book. And before we go and say that the author didn’t want to spend time on it or whatever, the author was very rushed with this book, and so I think that there were some things that might have been in the book, including greater backstory or understanding of why these things are happening, or why each of the schools are the way they are. Like, I don’t know why Durmstrang – which I thought we were just talking about being way up north, and I was thinking mountains, but maybe not – have a sinkable ship. Why? What’s the deal with that? There’re some interesting choices that I’d love to know more about.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, there are phrases used as her being “unnaturally large,” “Harry had only seen one other person as large as this woman…” But then to your point, she is referred to be handsome, olive-skinned…. so yeah, it could be a conversation for another time.

Andrew: Also, in terms of the height, I mean, we have to remember that Hagrid does enter a relationship with her for some time. We don’t know if it lasts forever. So maybe it could just be as simple as that, trying to pair them up.

Katie: Yeah, it’s the foreshadowing to the whole Rita Skeeter giant/giantess blow-up that they have down the line, I think.

Eric: Also, it’s just hard to date when you’re tall, right? I mean…

Katie: Hell yeah. I’m 5’11”.

Eric: You’re 5’11”?

Katie: I’m 5’11”. My wife is 5’2″.

Andrew: Oh, wow!

Katie: We’re really cute together.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I bet you’re really cute together.

[Katie laughs]

Eric: I was going to say, because it’s hard to date when you’re tall. So Hagrid and Madame Maxime? I mean, they had to give it a shot.

Micah: I guess what I was trying to get at, whether we’re talking about Beauxbatons or Durmstrang with Madame Maxime and Karkaroff, is just the first impressions that we’re receiving of these foreign dignitaries, right? They’re not overly flattering, and that goes back to the author, in my opinion.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, that’s fair.

Micah: I mean, Karkaroff is like this greasy, oily salesman with dirty teeth.

[Katie laughs]

Eric: Well, hang on. The movie does him much worse.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Well…

Eric: The description in the book of Karkaroff is savage but fun.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Eric: He is described… Harry’s perspective is that he has a weak chin, and I think that is the best insult of a dignitary you could ever say, is a guy has a weak chin.

Andrew: He also is describing him as having a fruity, unctuous voice, and I look up that word, “unctuous.” It means excessively flattering or ingratiating…

Eric: False.

Andrew: … oily, or having a greasy or soapy feel.

Micah: So he’s a sleazebag.

Andrew: Greasy. It’s not necessarily a flattering portrayal in the books either, but I see what you’re saying, Eric. But yeah, we can talk about that more as we learn about these characters in the chapters ahead. The chapter does end with a big surprise for Ron. His fav Quizzitch – Quidditch player…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: We all do it. We all do it.

Andrew: His fav Quizzitch player – put in your favorite here – is still a student and he’s part of Durmstrang’s envoy. I of course am referring to Krum. Oh, man, so much competition for Ron this chapter. Cedric, Krum… he’s got his work cut out for him. So we will move on to some odds and ends, but first, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back.

[Ad break]

Odds & Ends

Andrew: So with Sirius on his way to England, Harry made a last ditch effort to try and keep him out of the country and away from potentially being captured. Harry seemed really proud when he wrote his letter at the top of this chapter to Sirius, like, “Okay, that solves that!” And then later Sirius says, “Nice try. I’m still coming. In fact, I’m already here in hiding.” A, where’s he hiding? Anybody know? Do we find out later?

Eric: Well, we know he eventually moves to the cave in Hogsmeade.

Andrew: Could that be where he is now, though? That seems too close for an initial arrival.

Eric: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s an interesting question.

Katie: He’s at a Muggle motel.

Andrew: Ooh, okay. Maybe a Red Roof Inn. Okay.

Katie: Yeah, something like that.

Andrew: Sounds good.

Eric: He’s at a Motel Six. They left the light on for him.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: There’s something there. “We left the Lumos for you.” “We let you Lumos.” Something like that.

Eric: “We Lumos the light on for you.”

Andrew: [laughs] But it still seems really risky to me that he’s coming back into the country. Laura, who isn’t here this week, put in a great point as well: He’s still signing his letter “Sirius.” Come on, my guy.

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, he’s yelling at Harry for Hedwig, but…

Andrew: He’s yelling at Harry; he says, “Change owls when you want to talk more, because I don’t want people noticing that Hedwig is coming to a certain place again and again.” But it also seems in this crazy magical world, it wouldn’t be difficult to A, know when Harry was writing to Sirius specifically just to be able to detect that somehow, and B, track where an owl is going. [laughs] We’ve got the Marauder’s Map to follow human wizards.

Eric: I’m convinced the owls as a mystery is not going to be solved in our lifetimes. How they work, how it is that they find you…

[Katie laughs]

Eric: It’s not something that can be figured out. It works, but we don’t know how, because you would just… presumably, you could just chase an owl and find Sirius Black. And somebody in the government could have done this day one: Get any bird to send Sirius Black a letter and it would find him, but it mustn’t work, because nobody’s done it.

Katie: I guess people’s eyes aren’t necessarily on this yet, so no one really cares too much about Harry the way that they will in the next book, in that sense.

Eric: I mean, although, they were looking for Sirius Black all of last year is the thing, so…

Katie: Right. But then he flew away; he’s gone.

[Eric and Katie laugh]

Micah: And there’s no reason to think that Harry would be corresponding with him, so why track Hedwig at this point?

Andrew: Also, this is a chapter with some brief glimpses of other school lessons, and the Snape one alarmed me. Snape wanted them to research antidotes, and he had hinted that he might be poisoning one of them before Christmas to see if their antidote worked. Like, come on. Oh my gosh. [laughs]

Micah: So I just think he’s trying to one-up Moody. He hears that Moody is putting Unforgivable Curses on students; what’s some poison?

Andrew: [imitating Snape] “You think that’s bad; I’m going to poison the students.”

Micah: He wants to have some fun too.

Andrew: Final odd and end: Hermione again voices her concerns over the house-elves, and she’s been trying to get people to sign up for SPEW, but it’s not going well. Neville joins just so she’d stopped bothering him. But it makes me wonder, would there have been a better way to approach kids about this and convince them of the severity of the issue and her concerns? There must have been a better way. I was thinking maybe Hermione could hold some sort of presentation in the Gryffindor common room to start. Like, “Hey, guys, I have something serious to talk to you about.” I assume she just kind of… I mean, part of the issue, she probably approached it wrong.

Katie: She’s just rattling the tin in people’s faces while they’re trying to study.

Micah: Yeah, I think it’s an example of a situation where Hermione is being overbearing, and that really hinders her ability to deliver the message that she wants. She needs a good PR person. She needs people like Fred and George, really, to sell her product to get people interested. I just don’t think… she’s so passionate about it, she’s so overtaken by it, that it’s clouding her ability to get people to come on board. Like you were saying with Neville, she wouldn’t stop pestering him. That’s the only reason why he agreed.

Eric: I will say, there’s something that’s just so school about this, that totally goes back to anytime my classmates were selling something or trying to get people to sign up for interest in… I’m thinking of Student Council, and it’s like, “Oh, I need a petition to…” and they get kind of in your face about it. It’s like, “You don’t care about the issue, because I think you’re too young to really pitch your tent on any side of the fence.” But I think that the dynamic between students is really fun, and we don’t often get that talked about in the books, and here’s an example of it and it’s that Hermione is failing.

Andrew: Katie, you want to bring up your justice for Hermione point?

Katie: Yes, justice for Hermione. I do think… I’m not wrong here to think that there was a conversation about how Hermione could have missed house-elves, or like, “Come on, how could you be surprised? You read so much.”

Eric: Right.

Katie: Well, we find out why: They’re not mentioned in all the books, and holy cow.

Andrew: Not in Hogwarts: A History. She was coming up with some alternative titles for Hogwarts: A History, too, which was really funny.

Katie: Yes. What a good moment.

Eric: “What a conspiracy. What a conspiracy.” She still never asked the question herself. She still never asked, “How does the bed get made?”

Katie: Okay, she’s not making it.

Micah: Well, to that point, I mean, she’s missing a big piece of the puzzle here, right? She’s relying solely on what’s inside – or not inside – the books that she’s reading. And I think Fred and George… there’s a teaching moment for her here, and it’s the same thing we talked about with Ron in the last episode. No one’s ever been down to actually have a conversation with the house-elves to talk to them about what their life is like, and I think for both Ron and Hermione, it’s something that they really need to do. And I think for Hermione, until she does it, she’s not going to have a full picture of what’s going on here. It’s interesting that it’s Fred and George that deliver this to her.

MVP of the Week

Andrew: All right, it’s time for MVP of the Week.

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: Once again, I’m Team Eric over here. I’m giving mine to Barty Crouch, Jr. for pulling off this lie about Dumbledore suggesting he Imperius the kids. He’s been such a cool, convincing Mad-Eye that he can convince the kids this is a real thing that happened. [laughs] My hat’s off to you, sir.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Man, we’re praising Barty so much, we might have to get a special sound effect.

Andrew: No!

Katie: [laughs] Oh no.

Andrew: I won’t go that far.

Eric: I’m going to give my MVP of the Week to Filch for figuring out – I assume it was him – how to make the suits of armor not squeak when they move. It was either him or some house-elves, but I like to think it was Filch.

Andrew: I’m going to say it was…

Eric: Filch just discovered WD-40.

Andrew: That’s what I was going to say, yeah.

Katie: Hardware store.

Eric: Wizard Dad 40.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Well, Laura gave it to the horses. “Respect for their livers.”

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Absolutely.

Andrew: Good point.

Micah: Maybe they have fully fortified livers where just… I don’t know.

Eric: They’re twice as thick as any other liver.

Micah: Maybe they just process single-malt whiskey like water, so it’s just…

Andrew: I hope so.

Micah: In one end, out the other. [laughs] I’m giving my MVPs to Fred and George, just talked about it, but dropping some knowledge on Hermione and actually giving her some advice that she could follow in future chapters.

Katie: And I’m giving mine to Madame Maxime for her entrance, for her black satin, her opals, and her energy.

Andrew: Hell yeah. Listeners, if you have any feedback about today’s discussion, you can contact us by emailing or sending a voice memo recorded on your phone to, or by using our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453. Spotify users, don’t forget you can just tap into an episode and send us some feedback right within the episode page, and like I said earlier, we might feature it on the episode page. It’s a pretty cool feature Spotify’s got. And next week we’ll discuss Chapter 16 of Goblet of Fire, “The Goblet of Fire.”


Andrew: And now it’s time for Quizzitch!

[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question: What are the first two words of Sirius’s second letter back to Harry this year? I am including the greeting of the letter, which some people got tripped up on. But remember how Harry wrote Sirius saying, “My scar’s hurting”? Sirius said, “I’m on my way.” Harry said, “Never mind.” Sirius’s reply is “Nice try, Harry.” So I was looking for “Nice try,” was the correct answer. Correct answers were submitted by Robbie; Sarah Clarkias; Elizabeth K.; Crystal; Molly; Nobby-Dobby; Wink Wink it’s Winky; Must Be a Weasley 1992; The Single-Malt Whiskey that Madame Maxime’s Horses Drink…

[Katie laughs]

Eric: … It’s a dragon, it’s a flying house, it’s an Abraxan-drawn carriage…

[Katie and Micah laugh]

Eric: … Kaladin storm blast; Hermione do be spewing facts sometimes; Professor Stumble More; Sup Figgy; Hallow Wolf; and If this name gets read out, then remember, kids, peer pressure works.

Katie: Oh.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Wow.

Eric: All right, thank you to all who submitted, and here is next week’s Quizzitch question: Which Durmstrang student asks Igor Karkaroff to have some wine? Submit your correct answer to us over on the Quizzitch form,, or go to MuggleCast’s website and click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav.

Andrew: Katie, thanks so much for joining us today. You were an amazing co-host, and we extra appreciate you for filling in, in a way, for Laura this week.

Katie: It was a blast. Thank you for having me.

Andrew: And listeners, if you want to co-host MuggleCast one day, you can become a Patreon at the Slug Club level and fill out the co-host form. We have this Patreon because tuition at Hogwarts might be free, but running the show is not, so we really appreciate your financial support. If you’re an Apple Podcasts user, you can subscribe to MuggleCast Gold, which gets you ad-free, early access to MuggleCast, plus two bonus MuggleCast installments every month, and a new bonus MuggleCast coming out very soon. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ll be spinning a character wheel and trying to explain why the two characters the wheel lands on should totally be dating. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m very nervous.

[Andrew and Katie laugh]

Andrew: And then of course…

Micah: Mostly because of what I’ll say, I’m sure, right?

Andrew: Definitely, yes.

Micah: You’re afraid of it.

Andrew: And just being put under pressure with two characters.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: We don’t know what we’re going into right now. It’s terrifying. [laughs] Should be a Halloween special.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: But like I mentioned, we have as well. You’ll get all the benefits of MuggleCast Gold, plus livestreams, planning docs, the chance to co-host the show one day, a new physical gift every year, the MuggleCast Collector’s Club, and more. And then lastly, we do have our Etsy store, which is at You can buy one of our Sweet 16 wooden cars, our Cozy Comfy Combo Pack, signed album art – really signed by the four MuggleCasters – we’ve got T-shirts, and some other things over there too.; these are all gifts that we created for patrons we still have some extras of, so we’re selling them now while supplies last. Visit for transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us. That does it for this week’s episode. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Katie: And I’m Katie.

Andrew: Bye, everyone.

Eric, Katie, and Micah: Bye.